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Death penalty sought against NC man accused of killing parents, kidnapping niece

Curtis Atkinson, Nikkia Cooper

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The district attorney announced Thursday morning he will be seeking the death penalty for a couple accused of kidnapping an 11-year-old Charlotte girl and killing her grandparents, WSOC reports.

Prosecutors said there are “aggravating circumstances” that make it a capital case.

Curtis Atkinson Jr. and Nikkia Cooper face murder, kidnapping and drug charges.

Authorities said the couple killed Atkinson’s parents in April inside their Charlotte home, then kidnapped his niece Arieyana Forney.

There was an intense, nationwide search until all three were found in Washington, D.C day later, according to authorities.

Police and prosecutors have not released a motive behind the suspected killings and kidnapping.